09 December 2009

An Open Letter to the Makers of LitterMaid

Dear LitterMaid,

I thought I'd write today to tell you how enthusiastic I was the day I brought home the special edition LitterMaid I purchased at PetCo about a year ago. I bought an extra package of waste receptacles and the litter to go along with them. I simply knew that upon the recommendation of a friend, and the marketing propaganda I'd read in the past, that this automated cat litter box was a magical device. It was going to change our lives, both mine and Edith's (the cat).

As soon as I arrived at home I began making the transition from the Booda Clean Step (which up until then had been the best covered litter box I'd owned in more than twenty years in spite of the fact that it was a big, cumbersome bitch to clean) to the new LitterMaid. Following the sometimes tedious instructions, it was relatively easy to assemble. I set the digital clock but not a "sleep" time because I knew my cat would use the thing while the rest of the house was asleep.

The next morning, I immediately began to find cat litter strewn all about the house. Vacuuming constantly I vowed to change the litter to something that wouldn't track as badly. When it came time to purchase more litter, I cleaned out the box and started all over again with Fresh Step clumping litter. It didn't track as badly, but clumps adhered to the box like superglue, rendering the rake and the box itself useless. The motor would cycle continually in an attempt to rid itself of clumps to no avail before finally shutting down.

That noise you hear isn't the box running constantly. It's me groaning with aggravation in another room because that means I have to drop whatever I'm doing and remove the offending obstruction. The promise of having to deal with the cat box 1 or 2 times a week had been dashed at this point. Hell, I was cleaning the catbox more times per day than I ever had. It seemingly had become my reason to wake up every morning. Otherwise, the stupid thing would run constantly and clean nothing.

So again, I was faced with looking for another litter choice. I've tried corn. I've switched between two different clays. I've tried wheat. I've even tried using Fresh Step crystals. I thought I'd had a "Eureka!" moment until the first fill of these magic chunks reached their saturation point a day or so later. And, when they're done absorbing, they're done. Period. The LitterMaid became a disgusting smelly mess within hours that needed to be emptied completely and cleaned with Nature's Miracle and dried before it could be refilled, starting the ordeal all over again.

We've been using Arm & Hammer Essentials for about two weeks now. It's wrought with it's own set of problems, but it's livable until I decide I've just had enough and throw the whole damned mess in the trash. I have decided that the money I spent on the LitterMaid was the biggest waste ever. I will make sure I let anyone who is considering a LitterMaid purchase about the problems I've had and encourage them to get a Booda Clean Step.

Yours very truly,


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